Asustor has dozens of different NAS in its catalog. In the lot, we find in particular the AS5102T which is one of the sure values and which has been with me on a daily basis for a little over a month now. Yes, and the time has come to take stock of the operation, with some pretty videos.
Note all the same that this test follows the handling that was published on April 17. If you haven't read it, it's not a big deal because this article will go over all the points that were discussed at the time.
Ah, and if you have any questions, the comments are there for that. I can also pass them on to the people at Asustor, so don't hesitate to treat yourself.
We do not change a winning team and we will therefore start by recalling the technical characteristics of the NAS just to refresh your memory.
The AS5102T includes an Intel Celeron processor made up of four cores clocked at 2 GHz, with a Burst Mode allowing it to go up to 2.41 Ghz. Behind, there is also 2 GB of RAM in SO-DIM DDR3L format.
If your heart tells you, you can also open the beast to add memory, with a maximum of 8 GB for this model.
The NAS is compatible with hard disks in either 2.5 "or 3.5" format, either SATA II or SATA III. It supports dozens of different disks and you can find here the complete list of all supported models.
I opted for two WD RED drives of 3 TB each.
Asustor has integrated an active cooling system, based on a 70mm fan. It is extremely quiet, even when the device is pushed to its limits.
I use Plex every night and never hear it.
Another advantage and not the least, the AS5102T offers a complete connection with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, three USB 3.0 ports (including one on the front), two USB 2.0 ports, two eSata ports, an S / PDIF audio output and a HDMI output.
The offer is solid and it is also necessary to count on the presence of an infrared receiver. If you wish, you can control the NAS with a simple remote control.
Unlike some of its competitors, the AS5102T isn't just going to be used to store your files. You will also be able to use it as a “media center” and connect it directly to your television.
If the adventure tempts you, then know that it is offered at 429 euros at LDLC at the moment.
Packaging, Design & Ergonomics
The NAS is delivered in a fairly versatile box. It has many visuals and it highlights the main characteristics of the device.
Inside, we will find the AS5102T, documentation, an installation CD and various cables: a power cord, a power adapter and an RJ45 cable. Asustor also thought of putting a small bag with screws for 2.5 ″ or 3.5 ″ drives.
Very nice of him.
No change on the case compared to the previous generation. We always find this beautiful dress in brushed aluminum. The finishes are exemplary. Nothing moves and everything stays in place when handling the device.
It is also compact (163.5 x 108 x 230 mm) and very light since its weight does not exceed 2 kg without the discs. It is frankly reasonable and it will ultimately have no trouble being forgotten.
The two racks are placed at the front of the box. They are accompanied by an LED giving an overview of the state of the disks. Asustor has also integrated a locking system to restrict access. The good part is, we won't need a key to engage it.
A simple screwdriver will suffice.
The manufacturer has placed the power button at the top, on the left. There is also a USB 3.0 port a little lower.
The other ports are placed on the back of the device.
To start the configuration of the NAS, it will suffice to type its address in the web browser of a machine connected to the same network. If necessary, we can also rely on the installation CD or even on the AiMaster mobile application.
The commissioning assistant is really well thought out and it is very didactic. He will take us by the hand and explain each step in detail. You don't have to be a connoisseur to get by.
It's not much of a revelation, but a NAS is basically made for storing files and it usually has to juggle large amounts of data.
To determine the speed of the AS5102T, I relied on two different machines: my iMac and my Stylistic Q704.
On the one hand, we have an Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.93 GHz, with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. On the other, we have an Intel Core i7 with 8 GB of RAM. and a 256 GB SSD drive.
I directly connected the NAS (RAID 1) and my machines to the Freebox Server before launching several transfers with a large file weighing 5 GB and a hundred small files not exceeding 10 MB.
The test was repeated several times, to calculate an average.
Awesome, isn't it? The AS5102T is clearly a racehorse.
The same goes for transcoding. The NAS is doing like a boss and that goes for native applications but also for Plex. I use the solution every night to watch … my vacation movies and it is running smoothly, even with 1080p videos.
The device comes with ADM 2.4. I did not know the system at all and it pleasantly surprised me.
Its interface, for starters, is both clear and intuitive. It's very similar to what iOS has to offer, and you won't have to be a seasoned network administrator to find your feet.
The biggest difficulty for the neophyte will ultimately be to remember the IP address of the NAS.
Each icon points to a specific module. They each have their own function, their own utility:
- Access control: This is where you will be able to manage groups and users, as well as shared folders.
- Activity Monitor: It allows you to have an overview of the resources mobilized by the NAS, with several tabs referring to the CPU, memory, network, disk usage and running processes.
- App Central: This module lists all the applications compatible with the device, and it will also allow you to manage them.
- Online Help: If you have a question about the NAS, chances are the answer is here.
- Backup and Restore: I think the name of this module speaks for itself. It will allow you to backup the contents of the disks to a remote device with a few clicks.
- External devices: If you plug a printer, hard drive, WiFi dongle or even optical drive into the NAS, then you will see the device appear here and you can eject, format or configure it on the fly.
- File Explorer: No need to go into details here. This module will allow you to walk around the files stored on the hard disks.
- Services: All options related to NFS, FTP or even SNMP can be found here. If necessary, you can also activate the web server and the MySQL server by going to the dedicated menus.
- Settings: Unsurprisingly, this is where you can configure the NAS, configure a VPN, activate the energy saver or even customize the operation of the integrated firewall.
- Storage manager: This module will allow you to consult the status of your disks. This goes for the remaining storage space, but also for their health.
- System information: It's all in the title. Here, you will find all the information on the configuration of the NAS, with access to its log. Dr. Asustor, on the other hand, will help you better protect your system and determine which modules are causing problems.
Each module will open in a floating window. There are three buttons in the upper right corner for accessing help, minimizing the application or closing it. If you reduce it, then it will disappear from the screen and it will be housed in the task bar placed at the top.
So of course, on the sidelines, you will be able to customize the operation of the NAS by installing new applications. The App Central offers a lot of pretty things from elsewhere.
I mentioned Plex several times above, but you can also install Kodi / XBMC, Chrome, Avast, uTorrent, Deluge, Dropbox, iTunes Server and a lot of other nice bonus things like Minecraft, MongoDB, ownCloud , PhpMyAdmin or even Node.js.
The store offers dozens of tools covering almost all sectors of activity and this is ultimately what makes the strength of the AS5102T and the ecosystem set up by Asustor. We are on an extremely flexible solution.
In addition, Asustor also has several mobile applications in its catalog: AiMaster, AiData, AiRemote, AiVideos, AiDownload, AiMusic, AiFoto and AiSecure. They are available on iOS or Android and they will give you control over the NAS, of course, but also over the files stored on the drives.
The AS5102T is a surprising product in more ways than one. If its lines are fairly conventional, its technical sheet has nothing to envy that of its competitors and it also has an extremely complete connection.
It could perfectly find its place next to your television, that is to say.
ADM 2.4 is not lacking in strengths either. Between its very accessible interface and its versatile functions, it has everything you need to appeal to the most demanding individuals, freelancers and small work groups.
In short, if you are looking for a NAS that combines power and versatility, then you can go for it with your head down. You will not regret it.